CAPE TOWN – Black owned fleet management company Afrirent Holdings has delivered its first set of vehicles to the Joburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) since securing R1.2 billion contract with the City of Johannesburg last year.
The delivery of the vehicles comes after a battle with Barloworld-owned Avis Fleet Management, which was accused of using bullying tactics in its attempt to muscle out Afrirent from the lucrative 30-month contract.
Avis had two contracts between 2011 and 2016, with one valued at more than R700 million and the other at R1.2bn, yet the latter was extended into 2017 even though it had lapsed.
A leaked Auditor-General’s (AG) report alleges Avis had obtained the contracts unlawfully. Avis has since denied knowledge of the AG’s report. However, a copy of the report was obtained.
Avis is also alleged to have tried to sell their obsolete fleet to Afrirent for R500m, and when they turned down the offer, Afrirent became their target.
In addition, Avis had also benefited from billions of rand due to its relationship to the recently deceased Gavin Watson’s Bosasa Group between 2005 and 2017.
Bosasa then partnered with Avis to form a company called Phakisa World. That contract, according to sources close to the saga, has been running for close to 12 years.
Both Bosasa and Avis are alleged to have been paid R8bn during this period.
Afrirent won the 30-month R1.2 billion contract to supply the City of Johannesburg with the vehicles for use by various municipal departments, such as City Power and Johannesburg Water.
Senzo Tsabedze, the chief executive of Afrirent said: “We have been hard at work making sure that we secure the vehicles, register and brand them so that they are ready for delivery to our client, the City of Joburg. Afrirent has once again proven that it has capacity to meet requirements of large contracts such as this one.
According to Tsabedze, included in the vehicles delivered to JMPD were 87 BMWs for highway patrol and other crime fighting operations. This brings the number of vehicles delivered to date to 1 041. More vehicles will be delivered over the next couple of weeks.
“We see this not only as delivering on our contractual obligation but as doing our bit to enable the CoJ to continue providing much-needed services to its residents. We are grateful for the opportunity. We thank CoJ for its continued faith in us and our ability to support them in this critical issue of supplying quality service delivery to the communities,” said Tsabedze.
According to Tsabedze, what made the deal significant was that it was the first contract of this nature to have been awarded to a black-owned and black-managed company.
“As part of our commitment to ensuring that we empower black companies, Afrirent worked with four small businesses who benefited R150 million on the JMPD vehicles. Going forward, black-owned small businesses will benefit more than R300 million during the 30-month period of the contract,” he said.